Jam-packed with enough kinetically photographed action to seem like a never-ending cliff-hanger, Guy Maddins tremendous Cowards Bend the Knee is a Feuillade serial ultra-condensed and blenderised, as ghostwritten by Euripides. If fiction is sometimes barely disguised autobiography, Cowards is its mirror image, twisted and poisoned wish-fulfillment: the mythomaniacal Maddin casts himself (actually, Darcy Fehr) as a hockey sniper made lily-livered by mother and daughter femme fatales, and resurrects his father as the teams radio broadcaster and his own romantic antagonist. Set in a shadow-suffused hockey arena and a Mabuse-like beauty salon-slash-abortion clinic lined with two-way mirrors, the plot drips with the Grecian formula, as sordid family secrets spawn unintentional murder most foul.
Guy Maddin, Rubén Guzmán
Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart, Tara Birtwhistle, Louis Negin, Michael Bell, David S. Evans, Henry Mogatas, Victor Cowie